If you’re reading this post, chances are that you’re wondering: can bearded dragons eat blueberries?
Being one of the most popular and nutritious fruits amongst humans, it would sure be nice to have your pets share in this goodness.
It is with pleasure that I say YES, it is safe for bearded dragons to be fed with blueberries.
While this fruit is no doubt a nutritious one, it is important to also state here that it has an unhealthy level of sugar content.
To safely take advantage of its health benefits, it is recommended that you offer them in moderation to your beardies.
I have been feeding my beardies with blueberries for some years now and no bad news has been registered. As long as you are careful not to go overboard, then your dragons have nothing to worry about.
Further down this post are all you need to know about feeding your bearded dragons with blueberries.
- 1 Blueberries Nutritional Value
- 2 Benefits of Blueberries for Bearded Dragons (Are Blueberries Good For Bearded Dragons)
- 3 How to Feed Blueberries to Your Bearded Dragon
- 4 Can Bearded Dragons Have Blueberries (Concerns and Precautions)
- 5 Can Bearded Dragons Eat Frozen Blueberries?
- 6 How Many Blueberries Should I give my Bearded Dragon?
- 7 How Often to Feed Bearded Dragon Blueberries?
- 8 Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberry Leaves?
- 9 Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dried Blueberries?
- 10 Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberry Jam or Preserves?
- 11 Final Words On Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberries
Blueberries Nutritional Value
Often marketed as a superfood, blueberries are an excellent source of several vitamins, beneficial plant compounds, and antioxidants.
To understand why blueberries are considered safe for your bearded dragons, it is important to look into their nutritional value.
As a superfood that they are, they are a great source of essential vitamins, plant compounds, and antioxidants. Below is a breakdown of its nutritional profile:
- Calories: 57 kcal
- Water: 84 g
- Protein: 0.7 g
- Carbs: 14.5 g
- Sugar: 10 g
- Fiber: 2.4 g
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Vitamin C: 9.7 mg
- Vitamin K: 19.3 ug
- Vitamin E: 0.6 mg
- Vitamin A: 3ug
- Calcium 6 mg
- Phosphorus: 12 mg
Carbs make about 14% of this fruit and are sourced from simple sugars such as fructose and glucose.
Most of the carbs come from simple sugars like glucose and fructose, but blueberries also contain some fiber.
They also have a glycemic index (GI) score of 53, which is a measure of the impact of certain foods on raising blood sugar levels
Vitamins and Minerals
- Blueberries are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals. Some of these nutrients include:
- Vitamin K1: Another name for this nutrient is known as phylloquinone. Its primary function is in blood clotting. But, it also impacts the health of bones.
- Vitamin C: Also another name for this nutrient is ascorbic acid, and as an antioxidant is very important for immune function and skin health.
- Manganese: This mineral is very essential in the metabolism of carbohydrate, amino acid, lipid, and protein.
- Other vitamins and minerals to look out for, although in small amounts are copper, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.
Blueberries are also a good source of beneficial plant compounds and antioxidants such as anthocyanins, quercetin, and myricetin. These substances have been linked to many health benefits.
Benefits of Blueberries for Bearded Dragons (Are Blueberries Good For Bearded Dragons)
There are many health benefits worth mentioning about blueberries, some of which are:
1. Boosts the Immune System
One of the major and essential nutrients from blueberries is their Vitamin C content. This is an essential nutrient if anyone’s immune system is to function excellently.
For bearded dragons, in particular, an adequate supply of Vitamin C helps keep their health in top shape by avoiding symptoms of deficiency such as diarrhea, bleeding gums, skin separation or tearing, and so on.
Unlike leafy greens, the primary vitamin C source, blueberries allow for a fun way to take advantage of this vitamin.
2. Improves Digestion
Another important benefit of blueberries is their ability to help in one of the most common conditions of bearded dragons – impaction. This is partly thanks to their fiber content.
Impaction can be harmful to your pet, and one of the major causes is indigestion. This indigestion can occur when the food fed to your dragon is too big for the digestive tract to handle.
The fiber content, together with the water content in blueberries can help remedy the situation.
3. Improves Hydration
Bearded dragons find it difficult to learn how to drink standing water since that does not exist in the wild.
But, it is important that they get a regular supply of water so their temperature stays regulated and their internal organs are lubricated for optimal performance.
Blueberries serve as a way to complement their water source.
4. Reinforces Beardie’s Bone and Dental Health
One of the minerals contained in blueberries is calcium, even though in small amounts.
It is very true that supplements are a major source of this mineral; but, it is not out of place to provide an extra dose from blueberries.
This goes a long way to prevent conditions such as metabolic bone disease. (3)
How to Feed Blueberries to Your Bearded Dragon
As much as offering your bearded dragon blueberries comes with a lot of benefits, it has to be fed in the proper way.
Let us take a look at the safe steps to feed blueberries to your beardies and still take advantage of the benefits it comes with.
1. Visually inspect
The quality of your blueberries is to a large extent determined at the farmer’s market or grocery store.
It is important to check your blueberries for any areas or spots of mold and rot.
As a rule of thumb, if the blueberries are not fit for your consumption, do not feed them to your beardies.
As much as possible, go for organic options as chemicals and pesticides can be harmful to your dragons.
2. Thoroughly wash them
The moment your fruits hit home, next is to wash them.
You should take your time washing them so that you will get rid of any form of pesticides or pathogens they came with.
This should be ensured – whether you’re going to serve your dragons anytime soon. This way, you don’t stand the chance of forgetting to wash when it’s time to serve your pets.
This is a dangerous mistake to make.
3. Get them Sliced or chopped
The next step is to cut the blueberries in half and make them bite-sized. This will minimize any risk of your bearded being choked.
When you cut the berries into half, the delicious inside of the fruit is exposed, thus increasing your pet’s interest in eating.
Can Bearded Dragons Have Blueberries (Concerns and Precautions)
With all the praises sung about blueberries, it is still to be noted that if certain precautions are not adhered to, this fruit can cause harm to your pet. Let us take a look at some of these health concerns.
Even though blueberries are pretty soft, it has still been observed to lead to a choking experience in bearded dragons.
This could happen as your beardies excitedly and quickly gobble up them.
This is why it is recommended to always cut this fruit in at least half before giving them to your dragons to eat. This way, whether they end up just swallowing them, there’ll be no risk of choke while eating.
Blueberries contain lots of sugar.
Even though the human body can accommodate this sugar content, it is unhealthy for bearded dragons.
The doses of sugar contained in blueberries are known to make beardies obese.
This in turn carries health risks such as a shortened lifespan, organ dysfunctions, and dystocia for females.
To avoid this unwanted gain in weight and obese-related health problems, avoid feeding your beardies treats with too much sugar like blueberries.
Blueberries are very high in sugar, fiber, and water.
Bearded dragons on the other do not have the ability to handle these nutrients and compounds in large quantities.
This means that when your dragon consumes too much of this fruit, instead of good, it can turn into something bad.
Usually, bearded dragons tend to suffer an upset stomach leading to watery stools or digestive health conditions such as diarrhea.
Metabolic Bone Disease
Blueberries contain phosphorus and in high amounts. This can be a problem for calcium absorption.
Phosphorus has a way of reacting with calcium; it practically binds to calcium and makes them insoluble and thus preventing it from being absorbed by your beardies body.
Deficiency of calcium, in turn, leads to weak bones, described by a condition known as metabolic bone disease.
Another consequence of high sugar for bearded dragons is tooth decay.
This is a result of the build-up of plaque and tartar caused by too much sugar, which causes tooth decay.
Another form of an oral ill-health condition caused by too much sugary content in blueberries is tooth inflammations. (4)
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Frozen Blueberries?
When blueberries are frozen, they still remain safe for beardies to consume.
But, like any fruit, they become relatively low in nutrients compared to their fresh state. It is always better to as much possible serve your pet fruits when they are still fresh.
It is also important to note that you don’t feed your pet cold foods or fruits immediately after bringing them out of the freezer. That could get them feeling sick.
The closer they are to room temperature, the better.
How Many Blueberries Should I give my Bearded Dragon?
Personally, I am of the opinion that there are really no definite amounts of blueberries to feed your pet with.
You may want to closely watch your beardies and the leftovers after eating.
You want to offer them the amount they can consume without leftovers.
This is usually not the same with different dragons. I personally feed my bearded dragons around 5 sliced pieces of blueberries.
You may want to consult with a local vet for advice and recommendations.
How Often to Feed Bearded Dragon Blueberries?
Blueberries are to be considered an occasional treat for bearded dragons, rather than a daily supplement.
How often you can feed them with this fruit will first of all depend on the particular appetite of your beardy. It will also depend on the weight of your pet’s body.
Generally, due to its high sugar content and the ratio of calcium to phosphorus, it is recommended that blueberries be fed to beardy pets once or twice a week. Nothing more! (1)
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberry Leaves?
Blueberry leaves are not as tasty as the fruit itself, and even your pet will go for the fruits instead of the leaves.
Still, blueberry leaves are very safe and very nutritious too. In fact, when it comes to antioxidants, the leaves are richer than the fruits.
Just like the fruits, leaves should be moderately fed to take advantage of the health benefits void of any side effects.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dried Blueberries?
My simple answer here is a NO.
The reason is also simple: blueberries in their dried state contain an insane amount of sugar that is not healthy for bearded dragons.
For instance, 100 grams of both fresh and dried blueberries contain 10 grams and 68 grams of sugar respectively.
With such a difference, you can already tell how harmful dried blueberries will be to your beardies.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberry Jam or Preserves?
Again, bearded dragons should not be fed blueberry jam or preserves. This is another high-sugar form of the fruit.
Always keep in mind that high levels of sugar are in no way healthy for your dragons. (2)
Final Words On Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberries
If there’s any fruit that is both nutritious and safe for bearded dragons, blueberries are one of them.
But, the key to enjoying all its benefits is to feed them in moderation.
Remember to avoid dried blueberries and their jammed or preserves form.
If this is your first time owning this reptile, you may want to consult your local vet to know the number of blueberries that is safe for your dragons.
Also, get the attention of your vet whenever you notice any unusual behavior with your pet.
Are you already feeding blueberries to your bearded dragons? Do you have any contributions or any questions I could help with? Kindly drop them in the comment section below
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